Analysis by Dr. Nancy Yamaguchi
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its weekly data on diesel and gasoline retail prices for the week ended July 30, 2018. Prices began to creep back up for both fuels in most PADDs. On a national average basis, weekly gasoline prices increased by 1.5 cents, while diesel prices rose by 0.6 cents.
Crude prices pulled out of their downward correction last week, rising by $0.52/b between Monday, July 30 and Friday, July 27. This followed two weeks of serious price declines that cut over $5/b off the futures price of WTI crude. As of the time of this writing, however, WTI forward prices are weakening, and they have fallen back below $69/b. Current prices are $68.89/b. Gasoline and diesel futures prices also have fallen. If the downward trend persists, next week’s retail prices may hand back the gains seen this week.
For the current week ended July 30th, diesel prices rose by 0.6 cents to settle at an average price of $3.226/gallon. Prices fell in all PADDs except for the Rocky Mountains PADD 4. The national average price was 69.5 cents per gallon higher than it was one year ago.
In the East Coast PADD 1, diesel prices rose by 0.6 cents to arrive at an average price of $3.223/gallon. Within PADD 1, New England prices rose by 0.5 cents to average $3.274/gallon. Central Atlantic diesel prices edged up by 0.1 cents to average $3.390/gallon. Lower Atlantic prices rose by 0.9 cents to arrive at an average price of $3.096/gallon. PADD 1 prices were 65.7 cents/gallon above their prices for the same week last year.
In the Midwest PADD 2 market, retail diesel prices rose by 1.4 cents to average $3.156/gallon. This was the largest price increase among the five PADDs. Prices were 67.0 cents/gallon above their level for the same week last year.
In the Gulf Coast PADD 3, retail diesel prices increased by 0.4 cents to average $2.997/gallon. This price was 63.8 cents higher than for the same week in the previous year. PADD 3 is the only market where diesel prices are below $3/gallon.
In the Rocky Mountains PADD 4 market, retail diesel prices fell by 0.8 cents to average $3.361/gallon. PADD 4 prices were 74.6 cents higher than in the prior year.
In the West Coast PADD 5 market, retail diesel prices edged up by 0.2 cents to average $3.720/gallon. This price was 90.4 cents above its level from last year. Prices excluding California rose by 0.1 cents to average $3.437/gallon. This price was 73.3 cents above the retail price for the same week last year. California diesel prices increased by 0.2 cents to arrive at an average price of $3.945/gallon. Eight weeks ago, California prices had topped the $4/gallon mark. California diesel prices were 103.8 cents above last year’s price. California is the only state where diesel prices are more than a dollar per gallon higher than they were last year.
U.S. retail gasoline prices rose by 1.5 cents to average $2.846/gallon during the week ended July 30. Prices rose in PADDs 1, 2, and 3. Prices fell in PADDs4 and 5. The national average price was 49.4 cents per gallon higher than it was one year ago.
For the current week ended July 30, East Coast PADD 1 retail prices for gasoline rose by 1.4 cents to average $2.790/gallon. The average price was 48.4 cents higher than last year’s price. Within PADD 1, New England prices increased by 0.9 cents to average $2.884/gallon. Central Atlantic market prices rose by 1.6 cents to average $2.923/gallon. Prices in the Lower Atlantic market increased by 1.2 cents to average $2.680/gallon.
In the Midwest PADD 2 market, retail gasoline prices rose by 2.8 cents to arrive at an average price of $2.767/gallon. Gasoline pump prices were 49.1 cents higher than they were one year ago.
In the Gulf Coast PADD 3 market, gasoline prices increased by 2.0 cents to average $2.593/gallon. PADD 3 continues to have the lowest average prices among the PADDs. Prices for the week were 51.0 cents higher than for the same week in 2017.
In the Rocky Mountains PADD 4 market, gasoline pump prices fell by 2.1 cents to average $2.913/gallon. PADD 4 prices were 57.0 cents higher than at the same time in 2017.
In the West Coast PADD 5 market, retail gasoline prices declined by 0.9 cents to arrive at an average of $3.349/gallon. This was 51.6 cents higher than at the same time a year ago. PADD 5 continues to have the highest gasoline prices among the five PADDs. During the year to date, PADD 5 has been the only PADD where retail gasoline prices have exceeded $3/gallon. Excluding California, West Coast prices declined by 0.9 cents to average $3.156/gallon. This was 57.7 cents higher than at the same time in 2017. In California, pump prices fell by 0.9 cents to average $3.505/gallon. California prices were 52.4 cents per gallon above their levels from last year.